The ninth and tenth centuries witnessed the establishment of a substantial network of maritime trade across the Indian Ocean, providing the real-life background to the Sinbad tales.
Traveling eastward, we discover a vivid human landscape—from Chinese society to Hindu religious practices—as well as a colorful range of natural wilderness—from flying fish to Tibetan musk-deer and Sri Lankan gems. The juxtaposed accounts create a kaleidoscope of a world not unlike our own, a world on the road to globalization. In its ports, we find a priceless cargo of information. Here are the first foreign descriptions of tea and porcelain, a panorama of unusual social practices, cannibal islands, and Indian holy men—a marvelous, mundane world, contained in the compass of a novella.
- “These accounts are full of fascination and wonder… [and] continue the contribution this excellent series is making towards integrating classics of Arabic into the global canon.”
—Times Literary Supplement
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